Lyon has been referred to not only as France’s gastronomic capital, but also, in the words of one renowned food critic, ‘Gastronomic capital of the world’.
The city, third largest in France, recently toppled from its second place by Marseille, has a long culinary history, beginning in the sixteenth century when Catherine de Medici’s Florentine cooks combined their knowhow with fresh, regional produce from around Lyon. Gastronomy still plays a large role in the city today; Lyon now boasts over 1,000 restaurants, the highest per capital in France, so it’s the perfect place to explore local cuisine. Situated close to two of France’s major wine regions, the Rhône Valley and Beaujolais, Lyon wine tasting tours will enable you to pair fabulous wines with Lyonnais gastronomy.
Explore France’s Capital of Lights on Lyon wine tasting tours
Nicknamed France’s Capital of Lights after its light festival Fête des Lumiéres held each December, Lyon is a food and wine lover’s dream destination. Much of old Lyon, Vieux Lyon, and the peninsula, Presqu’île, formed by the convergence of the Rhône and Saône rivers, is protected as a UNESCO world heritage site, as is the Croix-Rousse – ‘the hill that works’, previously home to many silk workshops. Strolling its Medieval cobbled streets lined with elegant hotels particuliers, as the luxurious residences built by its banker merchants in the 15th and 16th century are known, is a wonderful way to discover the gastronomy and wines of Lyon and its environs. Lyon also has its fair share of architectural treasures to discover from the Gothic Cathedral of St Jean in Vieux Lyon to Roman ruins – baths, a theatre and an Odéon – up Fourvière Hill, known as ‘the hill that prays’ thanks to its Basilica which hosts the Fête des Lumières. You can marvel at the Tour Métallique, built to rival the Eiffel Tower in Paris. In fact, its higher than the Eiffel Tower at its top as it sits on a hill. You can also ride the world’s first urban funicular railway in the world.
Sample powerful, elegant Rhône wines on Lyon wine tasting tours
If you tire of wandering the elegant streets of one of Europe’s most extensive Renaissance neighbourhoods and darting through its secret passageways, traboules, built to connect one street with another, you can relax in one of the city’s many traditional restaurants, bouchons, for some Lyon wine tasting, paired of course with some delicious local cuisine. Discover the region’s variety of charcuterie and cheeses. Taste the rosette Lyonnaise and saucisson de Lyon or delicious cheeses such as Saint-Felicien and Saint Marcellin. Try local specialities such as Lyonnais potatoes or quenelle – a mixture of creamed fish or chicken, poached and served with cream sauce. Peruse the excellent wine list of the city’s restaurants in search of the perfect wine. Enjoy elegant Syrah and fragrant Viognier from the northern Rhône’s great appellations such as Hermitage, Côte Rôtie or Condrieu. Sip powerful southern Rhône blends from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas or Vacqueyras. Sample refreshing rosé from Tavel, one of France’s few all rosé appellations.
Journey up the Rhône Valley on Lyon wine tasting tours
Lyon is perfectly located for you to explore the Rhône Valley appellations. Venture out into wine country and marvel at the pudding stones of the hot Châteauneuf-du-Pape region in the southern Rhône or voyage up the winding River Rhône itself, through the spectacular vineyards clinging to the steep sides of the hills hemming in the river as it flows down from Switzerland to the Mediterranean.
Whether you’d prefer to explore the gastronomy and wine of the Rhône on Lyon wine tasting tours or uncover the treasures of its wines for yourself at its many prestigious wineries, our local experts at Wine Paths are at hand to design your perfect Rhône experience.
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